Meneer de Uil Barrel-Aged Imperial Stouts
I know this is a whisky site, but I like beer too! And this is no ordinary beer, but a range of imperial stouts aged in ex-whisky barrels. The range includes Ledaig, Caol Ila, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Arran, Longmorn and Mortlach but I picked:
Nose: It’s stout by the seaside! The seaside on Islay to be precise, with salt and faint peat smoke in the air. Beyond that there’s chocolate, malt and liquorice. It’s actually a bit more subtle than I was expecting on the nose.
Taste: But it’s bigger here! Treacle toffee next to a smokey bonfire. Pontefract Cake. Very tarry, chewy and quite sweet.
Finish: Just goes on and on and on. Wood ash, tobacco, coffee, and a bit of salt. Some orange at the very end.
Nose: Lots of liquorice, but otherwise much lighter and more sweetly herbal than the Bowmore one. You do get a bit of Clynelishness.
Taste: All the treacle toffee and liquorice from the Bowmore is here too, only without the smoke. It’s much cleaner and fresher tasting, with hints of grapefruit and even little floral notes.
Finish: The liquorice turns more to aniseed and goes a touch more bitter. There’s some coffee, and maybe just a hint of saltiness.
Really interesting! There is a fair bit of commonality between these two, but it’s striking how much of a difference the choice of cask makes. The Bowmore really dominates (and I think I’d even have been able to tell this was Bowmore blind from the very particular type of dry smokiness that comes through) and produces a bit of a beast of a beer. Honestly you need to set aside an evening to tackle a bottle of this one, and I’ve rarely experienced a longer aftertaste. It does verge on being a bit much though, even if salt and liquorice are two of my favourite things.
The influence of the Clynelish is much harder to pick out, and maybe that makes it a bit more of a successful marriage. It’s certainly a much lighter and more subtle beer than the Bowmore, and you probably won’t feel like you need a lie down after a bottle.
They’re both quite fascinating though and just the sort of thing you’ll be wanting during the dreich autumn and winter days to come. Available here in Manchester from the Beermoth, or online from various places including whiskysite.nl